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A really, really special uLink indie offer.

Discussion in 'Multiplayer' started by Christian_Lonnholm, Sep 27, 2011.

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  1. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    It is time to dust off that Star Trek uniform of yours that has been lying around in the drawer for much too long. Because it is time to write a new chapter in the future of online game development. Together.

    I’ve got so much to tell you but I will let you discover the beef of it yourselves - we have made a lot of changes. The first I would like to let you know about is that we have done some name changes and we are now called MuchDifferent, and that UnityPark has become a product suite under our game technology branch. We are still the same people, though we have had some reinforcements within our ranks. I have named a few in a blog post but let’s get to what is really important - the amazing things we have made for indie developers and professionals alike - a new, never before seen set of tools for online game development!

    When we announced uLink earlier this year, we (together with this community) showed that it was possible to make a single-player game into multiplayer within minutes, without even having to write a line of code. Since then, Moria has shown that one person with no previous experience can make a remarkable MMO using our network technology in just a few months. And we have not settled with that but have released a steady stream of improvements, that have made us more confident that we have set a new landmark when it comes to networking for games.

    We have just recently released uLink 1.2 which we have chosen to name Zelda. You can see all the new features and improvements here.

    But now uLink has got company by a set of equally well-designed and executed components that together form the UnityPark Suite - an entire back-end system for any kind of online game.

    We have mapped out the different architectures here for you to take a look at.

    And with the Unite conference, our new name and our new products just around the corner, we thought it would be a great idea to celebrate this by giving away a special offer for all the indies out there. The offer is only available for 30 days, starting from Unite, the 28th of September.

    During this period companies that have a turnover of < 100 000 € can get a uLink licence for 500 €. But we have also sweetened this deal by including every piece of our UnityPark technology for free, with the exception of PikkoServer. This, my friends, will get your game online in warp drive.

    You can read more about this special offer on our brand new homepage.

    (Sadly, we will not have time to answer that many questions right now since we are attending the Unite conference this week. Though there are quite a few people here in the forum that might be able to help out. So, ask away, and if not, we will be back pretty soon.)
     
  2. kheng

    kheng

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    OMG this is awesome news!!!! I totally regret missing the other deal you guys had for indies. I will definitely be getting this!!!

    Wait do you guys have any videos or demos of the other products? I'm interested in seeing uGame DB.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  3. the_gnoblin

    the_gnoblin

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    Cool features!

    Nice

    Oh, the server management thing:)

    + http://muchdifferent.com/?page=game-demos-angrybots :)
     
  4. the_gnoblin

    the_gnoblin

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    http://muchdifferent.com/index.php?page=game-unitypark-products-ulobby
    !!!
     
  5. the_gnoblin

    the_gnoblin

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    And a voice chat! =D
     
  6. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    Thanks kheng! And I am sorry that you had to wait so long for the chance to get your hands on an indie licence.

    We do not have any videos other than the ones we have listed here:
    http://www.developer.unitypark3d.com/videos/

    ...yet. I'd love to show you what it looks like but it will have to wait a month or so since we are still adding features.
     
  7. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    Very cool news actually :)
     
  8. liverolA

    liverolA

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    i have a question,does the indie license cover:

    uLink 1.2 Zelda
    - uLobby
    - uGame DB
    - uStream
    - uZone

    or just uLink?
     
  9. kheng

    kheng

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    I just ordered it, where do I get the other products? And do you have the project up of angry bots so I can download it.
     
  10. aspide

    aspide

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    Hi Christian, do the new license pack offer applies to already sold indie license (like mine) or do I need to place another order ?
     
  11. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    Hi guys!

    Thank you for the questions! You who already have bought an indie licence will get the suite upgrade too with no extra costs. This does however not apply to people that have got uLink as a giveaway (sorry). If you buy a new indie licence, you will get uLink 1.2 Zelda right away and uLobby, uGame DB, uStream and uZone at the first day of next year.

    I hope that this helped to answer your questions. :)
     
  12. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    Thank you!

    We have not made the code for angry bots available since we made it so fast (in just a day) that we are not that proud of the code. You will have the rest of the UnityPark Suite products at the first of January, 2012 when we have the documentation and everything set.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  13. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Awesome deal guys, I'm evaluating your software as we speak :)

    Just a clarification - my understanding of the wording is that we get ulink immediately and the rest of the stuff when it's released (minus pikko)? I'm pretty sure that's what your saying - but cannot have any doubt.

    Thanks!
     
  14. aspide

    aspide

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    I'm extremely glad to hear that, Christian. On a side note let me say that uLink is extremely powerful and really easy to manage. I'm developing a multiplayer FPS and setting up an authoritative server solution (migrating from a p2p design) took me only a couple of days. Whilst I'm everything than a fanboy my strong advice is to give it a test; I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
     
  15. sebako

    sebako

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    I have just purchased a license to try it out, unfortunately it has to wait until I get my current project finished :)
     
  16. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    And thank you! You are correct in that you get uLink immediately and the rest of the suite products included in this deal at the first day of January. But already you can try out uCollab as it will save you a lot of time evaluating and debugging. And yes, take a close look at uTsung as it allow you to keep track of performance and give you an invaluable understanding of your code. Just follow this link to try uTsung out today!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  17. PrimeDerektive

    PrimeDerektive

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    I noticed somewhere (I can't remember where) that someone mentioned that when the 30 day trial is up, you continue to have no technical restrictions... is that true?
     
  18. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    Thanks for the clarification :)
    And fully understand that, nothing to be sorry about, as you need to pay your coffee too ;)
     
  19. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    Dear legend411,

    It is true. We have ourselves mentioned this at a number of places and one of them is here at our homepage.

    Normally, it can be time consuming to evaluate a network solution but we have done our best with providing tools and documentation in order to make this as fast and as fun as possible. Still, if it for some reason would take more time than a couple of weeks (we know people that have replaced months of network code in Photon with uLink in less than two weeks time) - we don't want to make any additional trouble for them with technical restrictions. They can therefore safely continue with their project beyond the official trail period.
     
  20. Rajmahal

    Rajmahal

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    This looks really interesting. As a fairly new Unity Indie developer and completely new to multiplayer game concepts, what would you say is the best way to learn how to use uLink? I have a fairly complete single player game but have no idea how to convert it to a multiplayer game. Should I go through the tutorials such as the Snowball one that comes with the download or are there some good tutorial videos?
     
  21. SirManGuy

    SirManGuy

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    Actually Rajmahal has a good point, I'm at the start of a development cycle for a project that I may never get time to complete. I'm not sure what my options are but I've considered:
    - designing the game single player to start then add in uLink
    - adding Lidgren as a starting point and design around that
    - grab uLink trial and design an C# wrapper to fake multiplayer until I'm ready

    Any suggestions?
     
  22. MaliceA4Thought

    MaliceA4Thought

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    no need to fake multiplayer in uLink.

    grab uLink trial, look at the example projects for SnowBox and the Auth Server Demo.. realise how easy it is to make this multiplayer with uLink, and do multiplayer from day 1 :)

    I build each scene as a base scene and divide into folders the stuff thats only client and only server so its all in one scene, and then just build out from that with a combined client and seperate servers.

    They can all be run for testing on the same machine and that way any physics or pathfinding or other functionality you want is right there in the same build.

    Regards

    Graham
     
  23. Rajmahal

    Rajmahal

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    Thanks for the tip, Moria ... I've started with the SnowBox tutorial. If I can figure it out and get my game running on multiplayer, I'll definitely be a customer. What's Pikoserver and what would it be needed for? Is it only for really large MMO games with lots of users and such?

    p.s. Moria ... where in Canada are you?
     
  24. SirManGuy

    SirManGuy

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    Thanks Moria, I guess with the unlimited trial it makes it possible to just do that.

    @Rajmahal: The Pikkoserver is for hosting massive amounts of people not only on one server but the idea is to have them all be able to be near the same location.
     
  25. MaliceA4Thought

    MaliceA4Thought

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    HI Rajmahal.. I'm north of Toronto in igloo country but work in Toronto :)

    I'm sure the guys from uLink will correct me if I get this wrong, but fundamentally, Pikko server is a tool to allow your servers to automatically load balance so that if you get too many people in a zone/scene that a second instance will be started automatically and communicate between the two zones/scenes to allow players in both instances to be aware of whats happening as if it was a single zone/server. Once the number reduce, then the second (or more) instance will be automatically shut down.

    It's like setting up cell servers and master servers for the zones. Yes, mainly for MMO's where it's likely to get a large number of players in a zone at the same time.

    Regards

    Graham
     
  26. david.almroth

    david.almroth

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    PikkoServer is for handling the network traffic into and out of a cluster of game servers (for example uLink servers). With this setup it is possible to get massive scalability on the server side and build FPS games and MMO games with really high player density. A game where 1000 real players can fight in one big battle is possible.

    General PikkoServer product info
    PikkoServer for uLink servers (named uPikko)
    Manual for uPikko developers
     
  27. Tim_starkite

    Tim_starkite

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    I think this is awesome news. Thank you for supporting the indies.

    Also, please rethink using the name Zelda. It's a trademark of Nintendo. They will be obliged to take legal action to protect their trademark.
     
  28. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    "Zelda" is a feminine yiddish name, meaning "blessed", "happy". Though this version of uLink is of course a tribute to Nintendo's awesome game, we would not hesitate to change it if they thought that our network engine might confuse consumers because of poor branding.
     
  29. Rajmahal

    Rajmahal

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    Me too ... I'm up in Brampton but work downtown. Weather's pretty good right now ... I won't be building my igloo for another month or so. :)

    Thanks for all the advice (Moria and everyone else). I'm going to be working this weekend on adding multiplayer to my game. My plan is to copy the SnowBox tutorial into my game and reverse engineer it to play my game instead of the Snowball playing game. Will see how it goes ... if I can get it working before the end of October, I'll definitely buy an indie license!
     
  30. FalconRime

    FalconRime

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  31. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    Reign of Steel uses uLink, no? (http://beta.reignofsteel.net) Just played a few rounds and it was sweet. I can't wait for New Year's Day!
     
  32. Christian_Lonnholm

    Christian_Lonnholm

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    Yes, Reign of Steel use uLink :)
     
  33. LucasDaltro

    LucasDaltro

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    Goodbye UDK!I'll study uLink now:p
     
  34. imphenzia

    imphenzia

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    This looks very interesting. This post caught my attention and I've now spent a couple of hours looking at the web site, reading up about the technologies and testing the demos.

    I've spent a fair amount of time making Unity Networking into server authoritative for Astrofighter.net now, and I've also created a PHP/MySQL server that handles player accounts which the clients interact in-game... but this could replace all that with a more elegant approach, improved security and scalability.

    I will try to convert my project once I've completed the phase of level loading and game state management and I hope to know before the end of this deal whether I should go for it or not. It's quite a difference in price and I love the indie licenses - it's a win/win and everon should offer indie licenses :)

    BTW: Is your Unitypark demo server down? All playable demos give me "Error: Connection Failed" =)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  35. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    imphy: Don't over look the converter:

    http://www.developer.unitypark3d.com/example-project-converter.html

    I have not yet had a chance to play with this, but is says:
    The purpose of this project is only to demonstrate the power of the 2-click converter included in uLink and let you try it yourself. The converter finds and replaces all uses of Unity's built-in network code and NetworkViews in scenes and prefabs, with uLink's equivalent while maintaining properties and whatever prefab connection that they might have.
     
  36. imphenzia

    imphenzia

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    Little: No, I've had a look at the converter video and 2-click approach already.

    It won't take convert of all the stuff I have developed myself yet though - like the game creating an account on a PHP/MySQL-server, authenticating the player with a session token, validating a player upon connection to a server with the account and session token, etc... I've spent the past 4 days and nights developing all that =)

    In terms of networking I'm also curious to find out how the conversion will go. I've created server authoritative networking with NetworkRigidbody.cs so it'll be a bit of tweaking and modification to change that to uLink authoritative too I think.

    I am taking a huge leap at the moment since I am learning Unity, C#, and multiplayer networking all at once =) But it's going great so far and I'm having a lot of fun - but some things I have to redesign due to being new at this.
     
  37. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    imphy: I'm impressed! Wow! Lots of success there. Wish I was doing so well! I've just finished putting the final coat of paint and lacquer on my models, so it's not time to get my head down with finishing and polishing the network code.
     
  38. aidin

    aidin

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    If you guys haven't already, sign up for the mailing list to stay informed with the latest uLink features, documentation improvements, new examples, exciting videos, state of the art tools and other UnityPark Suite releases. You will receive one brief summary with a link when something new is available, approximately 1 email every 3 weeks.

    Cheers!
     
  39. Lypheus

    Lypheus

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    I have a question for people who have bought ulink (or the ulink ppl themselves). I noticed the licensing for Indie seems to be for "1" title? How much does it cost for additional licenses afterwards? I'm wondering because I was thinking of creating a couple smaller games to test out some ideas for my "big" game and it seems cost prohibitive to do this having to buy a license for each little game on the way up to my grand finale. Is there a developer license perhaps?
     
  40. imphenzia

    imphenzia

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    I would have loved to see the indie offer as a more long term deal as I'm starting to feel quite stressed about whether I should pre-buy a uLink license in the event I may be able to create a game that can make use of what appears to be a great networking solution for Unity. Any reason why it is so short? I don't think a lot of indie developers could buy uLink at all if it wasn't for the current affordable price deal.
     
  41. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    To Be Honest...

    I love the fact that there is no waiting list.

    Having an Indie license at $500 is AWESOME...

    ... but it fails to address one particular demographic.

    I've been putting some thought to this. The current model for uLink keeps Unity Park focused and lean when dealing with uLink. It's a great product and delivers to its target audience - only if one can add a new category of user that uLink currently does not address:

    The Hobbyist

    Now this is a little bit of a disparaging term to some people, but I've been struggling to identify and label this particular demographic. Even tho' some people might prefer to be called "indie", I think in this case the term "indie" must be reserved for the person or group that is working hard independently to actually make money with their games. They are well served by the indie license. $500 for a solution as robust as uLink is incredible.
    • No hidden charges.
    • No escalation in price for a successful game.
    • A great product.
    This is opposed to the people just learning, practicing and honing their skills - but need a networking solution. Hobbyist is the best term I could find for this disparaging tho' it may be.

    uLink is still one level "too serious" for this demographic of developer.

    To use uLink:
    • You must buy a license.
    • There is no free or inexpensive license/solution for someone experimenting or getting started.
      (ignoring the 30 day trial, see below)
    • 30 days is not really enough for someone who is just getting started with networking.
      especially if they are not available full time to develop
    • 500 ($,€, £) is a major commitment for people who are not yet making any money.

    Now, On The Other Hand, this means uLink is a serious and professional product.

    You could, if you wanted to get started, use Unity's built in networking and then "graduate" into uLink when you are making money or are ready to release a game commercially. This just adds a step to the learning curve if one truly wants to use uLink.

    What is ... (I can't find a good adjective...) ... sad? uncomfortable? unfortunate? ... about this situation is that the competition almost universally have some sort of time unlimited feature rich solution. This means there are a large number of Unity users choosing other solutions purely on the grounds that it is apparently "free" to get started with.

    There are a number of experimental projects I'd like to work on that could require networking, but one can hardly experiment at €500 a pop.

    I am sure this discussion is not a new one at Unity Park/MuchDifferent, and I'm glad to see that there is no waiting list. This AWESOME.

    A clear solution for the blossoming hobbyist with eyes to becoming an "indie" would be MORE THAN AWESOME!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  42. the_gnoblin

    the_gnoblin

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    Hey, you are wrong about hobbyists here.

    People from MuchDifferent say that there's no restriction to use a trial version for more than 30 days if you need it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  43. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    Gnoblin:

    Ah, if that is true, then I have not seen it anywhere - could be that I have missed this in the redesign of the MuchDifferent site.

    That would be good for people to know, as I have had conversations with folks looking for a networking solution who have wanted to use uLink, but chose not to because of the perception that there is no long term solution under €500 per project.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  44. the_gnoblin

    the_gnoblin

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    Well, you can't use trial version for commercial purposes, of course :).
     
  45. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    This is my problem - have a client who's more than happy to buy it @ current prices. Problem is that at normal prices it's simply unaffordable for 'indies' so all the R&D time I'm putting in goes to waste once the current project is finished.

    I'll email 'em tomorrow to see what's what.
     
  46. imphenzia

    imphenzia

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    I don't think they would really lose out on anything by having a permanent indie offer.

    If the indie offer remains some indie developers would choose it - but some definitely couldn't if it's at the original price. That would be a win situation for both MuchDifferent (who gets a sale instead of no sale) and the developer (who gets the chance to use and learn a great product.)

    If the developer is successful and reaches a annual revenue above €100k, then they would most likely still choose the uLink package at original price for the next game because the developer is familiar with it (thanks to the indie deal.)

    I really hope they consider making the offer a more permanent deal. I've only got a week left to decide before the offer runs out and for my current game I don't dare to gamble the €500 now. I don't like the idea of making a stressful buy when I feel a bit uncertain either. If I don't catch this deal now and there is no indie license I'll be "forced" to continue to develop my own functions that won't be as good as uLink, but good enough for my needs.

    A short term indie deal attracts some quick business during the offer period, but my guess is that it would pay off more in the long run to keep the indie license permanent.
     
  47. Rajmahal

    Rajmahal

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    I would agree ... I think I'll be passing on this offer for now as I'm just focussing on the single player aspect of my game this year. I'm hoping that there is still an affordable option next year to get into multiplayer with uLink as well.
     
  48. Dariyo

    Dariyo

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    I completely agree with that.

    I'm really interested in uLink, but also can't afford to gamble 500€ right now. And the normal price is out of the question anyway. So when it comes to deciding which network engine i want to use, i wouldn't even try uLink. But if you would have an permanent inide offer, i would try it. And if it's really that good how you say it is, I would buy it for the 500 bucks ;)

    Greetings
     
  49. PrimeDerektive

    PrimeDerektive

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    When they first released uLink, I believe he explained their reasoning for not having a permanent $500 indie option was they really wanted to offer top-notch, 1:1 technical support, and didn't think they'd be able to maintain that goal if they let tons of people buy it (pretty dumb if you ask me, I agree that it should be permanent).
     
  50. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    I think it's only dumb if you cannot stay in business. (And I *do* respect your opinion and help, legend411)

    If MuchDifferent (which also seems to have a number of non-gaming products and services) can stay in business delivering a high quality product to a small audience, then it's great for both the company and the clients, so I have no complaint about that.

    On the other hand, it seems that this is such a great product with such a great potential, it's a shame that more people cannot partake.

    The tech support issue is not negligible. I worry at times about the continually growing size of the Unity user-base and feel that reaching all the people - and people in need - is no longer as viable as it used to be. I believe UT has an issue here. Moreover, it's a downward spiral where as the needs in the community increase, the usual heavy helpers are overwhelmed and can stop lending a hand. If the folks at MD want to avoid this, it's understandable.

    But like I said, it's a bit of a shame that there is a demographic that isn't serviced with this model.
     
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